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How to Use a Face Serum

Serums are highly concentrated formulas usually created to target specific skin concerns with a high percentage of active ingredients. It is important to use them correctly as they can really benefit all skin types and take your skincare routine to the next level. Read on to learn more about how to apply a face serum, the difference between serums and moisturisers and much more. For a guide to finding the right serum for your skin type or concern, click here.

Face oils vs face serums 


Face oils and face serums are actually very different products, but as they both come in smaller bottles, they look similar and cause some confusion. Face oils have a heavy texture as they are a blend of natural oils, often with added ingredients such as vitamins. Brilliant at moisturising skin, their make-up is similar to that of the skin barrier so they work a bit like a seal, and should be applied at the end of a routine to lock in hydration and active ingredients. Discover our face oils for your skin concern and our useful guide on how to apply a face oil


Serums target specific skin issues and can get powerful ingredients quickly into the skin. They are much lighter in texture and absorb quickly. They are often water based and can bring much-needed hydration to skin cells.

When to apply a face serum? 


Serums can usually be applied morning and night, although some formulas have ingredients that are best applied only at night, like some forms of Retinol. Always apply serum to skin that is freshly cleansed, otherwise the serum will be wasted sitting atop a layer of grime, and unable to sink properly into skin.

Moisturiser or serum first? 


One of the wonderful things about serums is how light they are. Serums feel weightless on skin thanks to small molecules that are quickly and effectively absorbed into the skin. Conversely, moisturisers are made with emollient ingredients designed to work with the surface layer of the skin to support the protective skin barrier function. Serums are always applied first to deliver active ingredients, then a moisturiser is applied to seal the deal and locking those ingredients into the skin. Learn more about the correct order to apply your skincare products.

How to apply a face serum  


It might be tempting to load up on serum because it is so lightweight, but a pea-sized amount will suffice. Pop a few drops onto your fingertips and pat onto skin, do not rub it in, just let it absorb, oh and do not forget to include your neck. If you suffer from dry or dehydrated skin, it is a good idea to apply serum to damp skin as it is more permeable.  

How to layer serums

Vital Skin-Strengthening Hyaluronic Acid Super Serum

Yes, you can layer serums to get multiple benefits from different formulas. Always apply your thinnest serum first, wait a few minutes and then apply the next heaviest, finishing with the weightiest blend. Rub a drop between your thumb and first finger to work out which feels thickest.

You can also choose to apply your most active serums first, we’re talking Retinol or Vitamin C and follow with hydrators such as Vital Skin-Strengthening Hyaluronic Acid Super Serum.

Layering our Ultra Pure Serums

Created with 10 ingredients or less, our potent Ultra Pure Serums are perfect alone, but can be layered together to boost results.  

Rebalancing experts

For combination prone skin

To help restore skin balance, pair 5% Niacinamide Serum with 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Together, they will calm skin and help to get your skin rebalanced, hydrated, and soothed. 

Imperfection experts

For oily & imperfection prone skin

To help improve skin texture and reduce oil production, pair 9.5% Glycolic Acid with 5% Niacinamide Serum. This dynamic duo work to boost skin renewal and radiance, plus soothe any imperfections.

Smoothing experts

For smoothing skin texture

To boost hydration and tackle bumpy skin texture, pair 9.5% Glycolic Acid with 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid Serum. This perfect pairing with help smooth away any bumps and work to plump by drenching skin with hydration.

Find the best serum for your skin type

Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate

Choosing a serum really comes down to the skin issue you would like to tackle and your skin type. For bespoke help choosing the right serum for you, book an online or in-store consultation and our skin experts will help.  


All skin types can benefit from a serum that helps to strengthen the moisture barrier function such as our Vital Skin-Strengthening Hyaluronic Acid Super Serum which leaves skin feeling protected against daily aggressors. For those looking to firm skin, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and brighten, we recommend our Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum which promotes surface skin turnover while strengthening skin barrier function with powerful retinol. Try layering it with our Hydro-Plumping Serum Concentrate to help plump skin, smooth the appearance of fine lines, and improve uneven skin texture. You can also use our guide to find the best serum for your skin type and browse all our serums here.  

Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate

Best for signs of ageing, fine lines and textured skin

Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum

Our award-winning Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum visibly reduces the look of wrinkles, firms skin’s feel and refines the feel of skin’s texture with a minimised likelihood of discomforting side effects including redness, dryness and peeling. An advanced formula that combines retinol with peptides and ceramides, the light and silky blend helps to strengthen the skin barrier to better receive optimal effects of our Retinol-enriched serum and visibly renew skin.

To learn more about face serums and find out how they can benefit your skin book an online or in-store consultation. If you're looking to find the right routine for you, try our Instant Skin Reader. Developed with dermatologists, our skin analysis tool personalises the routine recommendation to your skin type and your skin’s needs. 

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